I’ve always admired what Candida Royalle set out to do. After a career of starring in pornos, she began producing and directing a series of adult films aimed at women. Her movies are plot-driven with an emphasis on fantasy. Gone are the ridiculously endowed ugly guys, replaced with attractive, more realistic men who are more likely to come inside his partner than on her. The few Candida Royalle-produced porns I’ve seen weren’t particularly amazing, but then again, they weren’t made with me in mind.

The same is true of How to Tell a Naked Man, a sex tips book for hetero women infused with a fair chunk of Royalle’s personal exploits. Her book is absolutely packed with good information ranging in topics from finding Mr. Right to ways to swallow come even if you hate the taste. She provides lists of suggested mood music and romantic getaways, even types of body products to use or avoid. With all subjects, she includes relevant details from both her personal and professional life that reveal her insight to the matter at hand.

The main problem is How to Tell a Naked Man is with the writing. It’s not bad, but like with her directing, it’s not especially good either. Her style is certainly serviceable, but lacks humor and attitude. Even the dirt from her personal life is fairly dry. She’s trying to say to her readers, “Look, I’m just like you!” But in downplaying her career in sex films while simultaneously using it to justify writing an advice book, Royalle fails to distinguish her voice as either that of a “sexpert” or of the Average Joan.

Fireside, 2004, hardback

-Lippy Imp